Perhaps, it’s a great opportunity for FC Barcelona to return to winning ways in La Liga while they will welcome a struggling Villarreal to Camp Nou on Sunday.
The Spanish champions have only managed to collect one point from their last two matches to lose the first spot in the table to Sevilla. Whatever, they could claim the top spot with a full three points here.
FC Barcelona (2nd, 25pts) vs Villarreal (17th, 14pts)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 2, 2018, Bangladesh Time 11:30 pm
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
After drawing their last away outings by 1-1 against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona slipped off the top of the table. This wasn’t a bad result at all while you will consider they have dropped points in six of their 13 league matches during the 2018-19 campaign. But here are just three points separate the top four teams, that indicates a tough contest for the title of this season.
As it stands, Barcelona is at 2nd in the table with 25 points, one point behind leaders Sevilla. Atletico in 3rd with 24 points, while surprise package Alaves have 23 after 13 matches. Even Real Madrid down in sixth is just 5 points off Barcelona, which seems incredible when considering their consistency issues.
Despite their inconsistency in this season, Barcelona is still the top scorers in the La Liga with 35 goals. On the other hand, they have suffered to protect their own net with 19 goals conceded. This is the worst defensive records at this stage of the season.
Indeed, Real Betis scored four times at Camp Nou earlier this month, while Girona and Athletic Bilbao have also prevented Barcelona from winning in front of their own crowds. This will encourage Villarreal a lot at this weekend’s match.
While having only four more La Liga matches left before the winter break in Spain, Ernesto Valverde’s team will be desperate to return to winning ways this weekend.
So far in this season in La Liga, Villarreal have won Three, drawn five and loses five defeats. It has brought them 14 points, which is only enough for 16th position and has left them just 3 points outside of the relegation zone.
Since returning to La Liga for the 2013-14 campaign, Villarreal has finished sixth, sixth, fourth, fifth and fifth. Many would have thought they will be able to claim a similar position this season. But right now, they need to focus on their game instead of looking at the league table.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Dembélé, Messi, Coutinho
Villarreal (4-3-1-2): Asenjo; Mario, Víctor Ruiz, Álvaro, Jaume; Cazorla, Cáseres, Trigueros; Fornals; Gerard, Chukwueze